Markel bolsters marine team in Hong Kong and India

April 7 2020 by Yvonne Lau

Markel has bolstered its marine underwriting teams in Hong Kong and India, with the appointments of Danielle Yu and Nitin Marathe.

Both Yu and Marathe will work closely with Colin Fordham, director of Markel Asia, who leads the company’s regional marine operation. They will collectively be responsible for developing Markel’s marine underwriting expertise in the Hong Kong and Indian markets.

Marathe first joined Markel India on February 24. He holds more than two decades of market experience in Indian marine and aviation segments – in particular, Marathe specialises in machine hull and machinery, and ports and terminals placements. Before Markel, Marathe served as vice president of Marsh India’s aviation and marine underwriting team, in addition to overseeing the market’s strategic risk management and business development.

In January, Markel India hired Anirudh Singh as chief underwriting officer to work with India chief executive Deepika Mathur to broaden the insurer’s capacity and portfolio in the South Asian nation.

Mathur commented at the time: “As India’s insurance landscape continues to improve and grow, Markel India is set to expand its underwriting capability and products for local businesses as they operate under increasingly complex risks.”

Markel’s long-planned Mumbai office was finally opened in 2018, after winning a license to write reinsurance business from India’s Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (Irdai).

Yu joined Markel’s Hong Kong team on March 19 and holds a decade of experience in all lines of marine underwriting, with a geographic focus on Hong Kong and East Asian markets. Her expertise includes cargo, hull and liability. Prior to joining Markel in Hong Kong, Yu was senior marine underwriter at Navigators Asia, a P&C specialty (re)insurer and a brand of the Hartford. She also held roles as a marine liability underwriter at Tokio Marine Kiln in Hong Kong, and as a senior underwriter at Chubb in Taiwan.

Christian Stobbs, managing director Asia at Markel, commented: “As part of Markel Asia’s long-term strategy of growing our portfolio in the region, we are excited to welcome [Marathe] and [Yu] to the team. They bring with them strong local expertise from their respective markets, which will allow us to boost our presence and expand our support to clients. The new two hires underline our commitment to Asia.” 

Stobbs has been bullish on Asia, noting last August that: “We have been growing at 34% year-on-year through a combination of rate increases and new customers. Overall penetration will grow in India (where Markel is an onshore reinsurer and the only one on the Lloyd’s platform) and China.”